About Ocean Conservancy’s work to address the plastic waste crisis
Plastic waste is a crisis of immense proportions for our ocean: around eight million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year, with predictions that this will double within a decade. Ocean Conservancy is a long-time leader in this field, with a growing portfolio of initiatives working to end plastic inputs to the ocean by 2030. Through partnerships with key corporate, government, scientists and civil society leaders, Ocean Conservancy has led multi-million dollar initiatives including catalyzing a $110 million impact investment fund for waste collection and recycling in Southeast Asia, awareness campaigns, technical assistance, and policy advocacy at the international, federal and state level.
One of Ocean Conservancy’s strengths is the strong network of government, corporate, scientific, and NGO partners that we convene to advance solutions to the plastic crisis, across a range of policy, financing, and science initiatives. For example, we have developed strong on-the-ground partnerships to support Vietnam’s high-level commitment to tackling this issue as the 2020 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chair and via implementation of its emergent National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris Management (NAP). With our partners in Vietnam, we aim to 1) support implementation of Vietnam’s NAP; 2) increase access to financing for sustainable waste management infrastructure; 3) to increase availability of Vietnam-specific science on plastics to support interventions; and 4) develop and deploy river capture devices of ocean-bound plastic. This type of multifaceted approach is a key characteristic of our work in addressing the ocean plastic crisis, and one that we aim to replicate in other geographies.
Ocean Conservancy seeks a Program Manager to advance this Vietnam body of work as well as other current and future international partnerships. The Program Manager will ensure that multiple bodies of work remain on track, in line with project plans and the broader plastics team strategy. The ideal candidate is flexible, able to manage multiple fast-paced activities, and a skilled project manager with excellent communications skills. International work experience is strongly preferred; Vietnamese language skills a plus. The Program Manager will have a collaborative, results-oriented approach and a true passion for working with partners across organizations to achieve results. Professional presence and the ability to interact effectively with leaders in government, business, philanthropy, and civil society is highly valued.
During the first two years, the Program Manager will be primarily responsible for coordinating the organization’s portfolio of initiatives in Vietnam and maintaining regular communication with key on-the-ground partners to ensure efficient, effective delivery of Vietnam-focused initiatives as a whole. As this work matures, s/he will work on a range of other international initiatives across the plastics portfolio. The Program Manager reports to the Plastics Initiative Director and will work in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of staff and consultants. This position is based in Washington, D.C. with significant international travel to develop and maintain relationships with key partners.
- Serve as the Ocean Conservancy lead on our project portfolio in Vietnam, supporting lead partners in-country to ensure achievement of program objectives and conservation impact, as well as timely completion of grant deliverables.
- Liaise with the Vietnamese government, local non-profit organizations, technical experts, and private sector partners, as required.
- Serve as the day-to-day point of contact for external partners, consultants, and Ocean Conservancy staff on all Vietnam-related initiatives; in this capacity, provide support and expertise to other projects within the Plastics Initiative, and work with program colleagues to identify opportunities for cross-programmatic impact.
- Support management of the project budget and contracts, working collaboratively with the Plastics Initiative Director to ensure funds are used effectively to achieve project objectives.
- Support a fast-paced team on the broader portfolio of policy and finance initiatives, including our work in cities, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Group, and elsewhere, as directed.
- Work collaboratively with the development department to report on existing grants, attract new resources, and support project development.
- Travel domestically and internationally to represent Ocean Conservancy at various national and international fora including conferences/events/workshops, etc. across the broader portfolio of program initiatives.
- Perform research on relevant subjects as needed, and assist with development and writing of external facing documents and handouts.
- Assist team leadership with planning for various conferences/events/workshops in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and handle logistics for special functions and conduct other special projects and activities as assigned.
- At least 2 years project management experience, with demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and to manage multiple simultaneous projects and stakeholders; ability to coordinate multiple tasks from a variety of staff simultaneously with minimal supervision.
- Vietnamese language skills preferred.
- International work experience strongly desired along with a strong understanding of the cultural sensitivity, flexibility, and patience needed to do this work well.
- Demonstrated experience working in a multi-stakeholder environment and ability to manage relationships between stakeholders with differing points of view.
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline; passion for and experience with ocean conservation, reducing plastic pollution, and/or international development/ policy a plus.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, professional presence, and the ability to communicate complex concepts to diverse audiences.
- Flexibility and interest in contributing to a broad range of program initiatives.
- Sense of humor and a collaborative work style with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary, partner-based approach.
- Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office suite.
- Ability and willingness to travel internationally, often solo.
- Ability and willingness to occasionally operate outside of “normal working hours” as required.
To be considered for this position, interested candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org and note position title: Program Manager, Plastics Initiatives (Vietnam) #19-30 in the subject line.
Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.
Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.